Please join me in welcoming Sarah Price to the blog today to chat about her new novel The Amish Cookie Club!
SERIES: The Amish Cookie Club #1
GENRE: Amish Fiction
RELEASE DATE: May 28, 2019
Every other Friday, Edna Esh and three of her childhood friends meet to bake sugar cookies for their respective church districts on worship Sunday. It’s a time to give to the Plain community–and give support to each other as they share their joys and fears . . .
Edna’s friend, Vera Bontrager, has a problem. Her outspoken twenty-year-old daughter, Myrna, has been fired from her job. Again. Myrna’s family really needs her to chip in, but she’s clearly unsuited to customer service–not to mention that her sharp tongue scares away any boy who might come courting. But Edna has an idea–and his name is Ezekiel Riehl.
A widower with four young children, Ezekiel needs help. His house and his brood are a mess; his demeanor is gruff. It’s no surprise Myrna takes an immediate dislike to him. Yet she has no choice but to take on the challenge–and soon she starts to create order out of chaos. In fact, the kids begin to depend on Myrna–and so does Ezekiel. The truth is, she’s fallen in love with him. But if he’s to prove he’s not looking for a marriage of convenience, he’ll have to convince her of what’s in his heart . . .
Includes Cookie recipes!
So many romance novels focus on a young woman meeting up with a young man, falling in love, facing an obstacle, overcoming it, and living happily ever after. *sigh* Isn’t that the way we all want books to read? True romance at its best.
However, the majority of my reader base is middle-aged women who love reading about the Amish lifestyle. My own background is Mennonite and I’ve been involved with various Amish communities since 1978. My goal for each and every novel is to create an authentic episode for my readers so that they, too, can experience the Amish first-hand. So, with the Amish Cookie Club series, I took a different approach. After all, the Amish lifestyle isn’t just about traditional courting and young romance—although there is plenty of that.
In the Amish Cookie Club, four older women get together every other week. They’ve been friends since childhood and, for a brief period of time, raising families created an unwanted distance between them. So Edna Esh invites her friends to her farmhouse to bake cookies every other Friday so that they can take cookies to their respective church districts. Of course, the real reason that they gather has less to do with cookies but more about just having an excuse to spend time together. Integrating the perspective of more senior Amish characters creates a wonderful way to show their perspective on life as well as the future of their single adult children.
In the first book, The Amish Cookie Club, the group of women decide to help Verna tame her unruly, opinionated daughter, Myrna. You see, Myrna is quite unconventional for an Amish woman and, therefore, all four women—Verna included!—fear she will never attract a young man’s interest if she continues speaking her mind and getting fired from jobs in town. In every sense of the word, it takes a village to help Myrna land a job caring for the children of recently widowed Ezekiel Riehl. And with rumors passing along the Amish grapevine about the circumstances of the death of Ezekiel’s wife, no one expects a love match. In fact, all they wanted was for Myrna to learn how to be a bit more…domesticated.
I loved writing this book and sharing the story through the perspectives of Edna, Verna, and Myrna. The four older women have very different personalities which were fun to share with my readers. Take Wilma, for instance. Loud, boisterous, and always trying to push her own two daughters–twins, nonetheless!—on Edna who has an in-home business serving meals to Englische tourists. Mary is rather quiet, taking a more prim and proper view of the world while Verna is always quick to stand up to Wilma. And the leader of the pack is Edna who tends to be the voice of reason among them. I suspect that all of my readers will recognize traits from each of the women among their own friends. 🙂
To celebrate the launch of the new series, I am encouraging my readers (both seasoned and new) to start their own Cookie Clubs. We’ve created The Ultimate Cookie Club Kit Giveaway (https://sarahpriceauthor.com/the-ultimate-cookie-club-kit-giveaway/ ) to celebrate the book launch and to jumpstart Cookie Clubs all over the country. So many readers love the ideal of the Amish lifestyle. Now it’s time for them to actually experience it themselves!
Here’s a favorite cookie recipe of mine to share with your friends. And if you do start a Cookie Club, please let me know. I’d love to feature a story about it—and photos if you take any—on my blog and social media.
Sarah Price’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs (I use fresh duck eggs)
1 1/2 cups chocolate morsels
1 cup white chocolate morsels
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Combine the first three ingredients in a small bowl.
Mix the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large bowl. Mix until creamy.
Beat the eggs and add to the mixture. Mix well before gradually adding the flour mixture.
On low speed, slowly beat in the morsels. Some people add nuts but I personally do not like nuts in my cookies.
Using a large tablespoon, drop rounded ball of dough (approimately 1.5 inches diameter) onto a baking sheet. Use parchment paper if you have it, but do not grease the baking sheet.
Bake in preheated over for approximately 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make certain they don’t overbake.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing them to a cooling rack.
Sarah Price is the author of the Plain Fame series and the Amish of Ephrata series, among other books. She comes from a long line of devout Mennonites, and her writing reflects accurate and authentic stories based upon her own experiences with several Amish communities. Visit her at sarahpriceauthor.com and on Facebook.
Sarah Price is giving away an ultimate cookie club kit during the month of May on her website. (Ends May 31st)
The Ultimate Cookie Club Kit includes the following items:
- Amish-Made Apron
- Sugar Cookie Candle
- Bulk Cookie Mix
- Baking Sheet
- Set of Measuring Cups
- Cookie Cutters
- Postcards of Amish Country
What about you? What interests you most about a cookie club?